The NewsMediaWorks advertising campaign highlighting the strength of advertising in an environment of trusted content has featured across the front pages and news sections of every national and metropolitan newspaper and news website in Australia in the past two weeks.
It also has run in the vast majority of community and regional newspapers and across their websites, underlining how trusted news content can build trust in advertised brands.
The campaign has gone out to around 16 million Australians who read news media brands each month, according to the emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) readership survey.
This is a good thing because the campaign seeks to communicate the importance of journalism and authentic news content to readers. After all, it is the challenging craft of journalism that causes readers to prefer, and come to rely on, a particular news brand, usually daily or weekly.
The campaign points readers to a website www.thetruthbuildstrust.com.au which contains the findings from NewsMediaWorks ADTRUST* studies. The research unambiguously demonstrates that readers trust the content and advertising in newspapers over all other media, and that they trust the content and advertising in digital news media over all other digital media. The survey also found that the more readers trust the content and advertising in a medium, the more likely they are to purchase. It makes a powerful case to marketers to advertise more heavily in news media.
Journalists have been on a well-publicised journey themselves these past several years as their employers, the news media publishers, have grappled with the rise of social media and search. These newer players have had a profound impact on the advertising revenues of established publishers.
Social media and search, indeed all digital advertising, enables instantaneous micro-targeting of consumers on behavioural or demographic grounds, a media strategy that has been widely adopted. So much so that most of the media expenditure growth of the past five years has gone into digital, and most of this into social media, search and the run of the web.
These investment decisions have been roundly defended by media strategists on efficiency or economic grounds.
While this has been going on, news media publishers have been quietly re-inventing themselves and their business models. More than 13 million Australian consumers now read news in digital news brands each month** which has delivered a vital new fighting capability to news brands. More than 12 million Australians continue to read printed newspapers every month.
So news media publishers can now deliver brilliant cross-channel experiences to readers and striking cross-channel advertising and rich media solutions to advertisers.
And they do this in an environment of trust which optimises advertising effectiveness.
While The Truth Builds Trust campaign will engage the total readerships of our newspapers and news websites, it is specifically directed at advertisers large and small, and the media planners and buyers who advise them.
Recent controversies regarding the leaking of private social media user data by Facebook have had a pronounced negative impact on the very trust which drives purchase behaviour. Our ADTRUST study confirms that consumers have been paying attention: they now trust their news brands even more, and social media even less.
The jury is back, and the verdict is clear: consumers trust news media more than other media; they trust the content in news media more than other media; and they trust the advertising in news media more than any other media.
The truth builds trust.